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House of Commons Hansard #150 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was wto.

Topics

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Progressive Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, a few years ago the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development assured the House that any attempt to relocate the regional office of Indian affairs from Amherst would only be considered on the condition that native chiefs approved it. The chiefs then voted on the proposal to relocate the regional office and the vote of the chiefs was respected. They voted no and it was not moved.

Now the bureaucrats are at it again. Is it the minister's intention to still respect the vote of the first nations and not relocate the Atlantic regional office?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Kenora—Rainy River Ontario

Liberal

Bob Nault LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, the member knows full well that we asked for a report by an independent consultant to look at the efficiencies of the regional office in Amherst in the Atlantic province. That report has not been received and no decisions have been made at this point.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

David Pratt Liberal Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, earlier today I had the pleasure to join the Minister of Public Works and Government Services at the awarding of a major contract in my riding to xwave Solutions Inc. Could the minister provide the House with some information as to what sort of services the company will provide?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, indeed I had the opportunity this morning to be with the excellent member for Nepean--Carleton in his constituency to announce a $32 million competitive contract to xwave Solutions Inc. to modernize the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency information system.

This is a part of the government online initiative. It is a great thing for the industry and it is a fantastic thing for all Canadians.

JusticeOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Larry Spencer Canadian Alliance Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, at the rate the government moves, the children will be adults before anything happens. Canadians are glad to hear that the minister appears to be willing to put down legislation. However, everyone is concerned that the government's bad habit of ignoring committee recommendations will once again raise its ugly head.

Would the minister commit to legislation adopting the recommendations in the report “For the Sake of the Children”?

JusticeOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I said, we will table child support guidelines this coming May.

With regard to the reforms, of course we have to look at the possibility of passing legislation, but as well we have to focus on the notion of services. We are working with the provinces and territories and we will make our decision known quite shortly.

Middle EastOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, Prince Abdallah of Saudi Arabia recently announced a peace plan which could, at last, provide a lasting solution to the conflict that has been raging in the Middle East for decades.

The main political leaders in the Middle East, Europe and even the United States have welcomed this initiative. However, everything remains to be done.

How does Canada intend to react to this initiative and bring its support, so that a solution can be found at last?

Middle EastOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her question, because it gives us an opportunity to point out that Canada has always tried to promote peace in the Middle East.

We accept the suggestions made by Saudi Arabia and we are examining the proposal. We are doing so from our perspective as this year's chair of the G-8, and I can assure the hon. member that Canada will do its best to bring peace to that troubled region of the world.

Social ProgramsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is also for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Earlier this month 12 respected British Columbia NGOs filed a formal complaint with the United Nations committee on economic, social and cultural rights as a result of the massive cuts in welfare payments in British Columbia and a 40% cut in legal aid payments.

In view of the fact that Canada signed the international covenant in 1976 will the Canadian government investigate carefully this complaint and will it ensure that the government of British Columbia is in full compliance with our obligations under the UN covenant on economic, social and cultural rights?

Social ProgramsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows well that the government takes very seriously its obligations under international law.

We will certainly examine the allegations that he has raised and we assure the House that the government will work with the provinces to ensure that our international legal obligations are respected and enforced in Canada.

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

February 27th, 2002 / 3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

I draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of the Hon. Percy Mockler, Minister of Transportation for the province of New Brunswick.

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

I would also like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of eight of the laureates of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.

I will name each of the laureates and I would ask hon. members to withhold their applause until the end: Dr. Henry Barnett, Dr. Charles Beer, Dr. John Bradley, Dr. Brenda Milner, Dr. David Sackett, Dr. Robert Salter, Dr. Charles Scriver and Dr. Lou Siminovitch.

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

Hon. members are invited to meet the laureates at a reception at 3.15 p.m. in room 216-N.

Business of the HouseOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

It is my duty, pursuant to Standing Order 81(14), to inform the House that the motion to be considered tomorrow during consideration of the business of supply is as follows:

That, in response to Canadians' desire to save Canada as a sovereign nation and strengthen our distinctive contribution in the world, this House calls upon the government to reflect in its budgetary policy the New Democratic Party 12-Point Plan to Save Canada

This motion standing in the name of the hon. member for Halifax is votable. Copies of the motion are available at the table.

Employment Equity ActRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Bramalea—Gore—Malton—Springdale Ontario

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2) I am pleased to submit two copies, in both official languages, of the 2001 Employment Equity Act Annual Report.

Canadian Wheat BoardRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2) I would like to table, in both official languages, copies of the report of the auditor general with respect to the special audit conducted by the auditor general on the Canadian Wheat Board.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to two petitions.

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Roy Cullen Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34 I have the honour to present to the House the report from the Canadian branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association concerning the workshop on ensuring accountability which was held in Nairobi, Kenya from December 9 to December 13, 2001.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present the 12th report of the Standing Committee on Finance. Pursuant to its order of reference of Monday, February 18, the committee has considered Bill C-49, an act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on December 10, 2001 and reports the bill with amendment.

Immigration and Refugee Protection ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Cadman Canadian Alliance Surrey North, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-434, an act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from New Westminster--Coquitlam--Burnaby for seconding the bill.

I am pleased to have the opportunity to introduce the bill today. The bill would amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to permit an immigration officer to require a foreign national who has applied for a visitor's visa to provide security as a condition of the issuance of that visa. It would also provide for the immediate removal of the foreign national from Canada if the conditions of the visa or requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act were not complied with.

The bill is a direct result of working with my constituents who have family members living abroad who have repeatedly been denied visitors visas for a variety of reasons. My bill would not of course eliminate the possibility of foreign nationals staying in Canada past their intended stay but it would provide legal means for their swift removal.

I am certain that my experience with my constituents is not isolated to my riding alone. I think there are many members in the House that frequently hear heart rending stories of how a certain relative wants to visit Canada for a special occasion but has been denied a visa.

My bill would give many families in the country the opportunity to enjoy family gatherings uniting loved ones from overseas. I look forward to debating the bill further in the House.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-435, an act to amend the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act (members' staff).

Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege today to introduce a bill, seconded by the member for Churchill, to amend the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act. Most Canadians are probably unaware that parliamentary employees do not now enjoy full collective bargaining rights or full human rights protections.

The federal court and Canadian Human Rights Tribunal employees have those rights. Surely it is time, in fact past time, that MP and senator staff members enjoy the very same full employment and human rights protections. The bill seeks to remedy this anachronistic, unacceptable and embarrassing injustice.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Canadian Alliance Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The bill just introduced may possibly be out of order because it could be in violation of the Parliament of Canada Act.

Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations ActRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

The Speaker

I am sure if the bill has anything questionable of this sort the hon. member for Elk Island will prepare a point of order and raise it in due course. The bill has been ordered for second reading at the next sitting of the House which could happen any time in the next five years. The bill, after all, has to win a draw and so on. The member will have lots of time to prepare any argument he may have on a point like that, and of course the Chair is always accommodating and prepared to hear that kind of argument.